A wedding ceremony is a happy time that you want to spend with everyone you love dearly. That is why many brides want to honor love one’s that have pasted in their ceremony. There are many options to honor your loved ones in your wedding. I personally did a couple different things. I carried a locket on my bouquet with my grandmother’s picture on one side and my husband’s grandmother and grandfather’s picture in the other side. I also, had the mother’s light a memorial candle instead of a unity candle. Both mother’s carried a little tapered candle up the isle that they used to light the candles. My mother lit a candle for my grandmother and uncle and my mother-in-law lit the candles for her parents. We also, made a donation to the Cancer Society and the Heart Foundation in honor of our grandparents. They were subtle touched that meant a lot to my husband and I. I think the key is to find something that is meaningful to you and your family. So, here are just some of the options to choose from.
Bouquet Embellishments: Some brides choose to embellish their bouquets to show remembrance for a loved one. One option is to add a locket to your bouquet. You can also tie a rosary around your bouquet. Also, if you have a ribbon or a piece of fabric from your loved on you can have your bouquet wrapped in it. For example, one bride took a piece of her mother’s wedding gown and used it to wrap her bouquet.
Candles: Candles can be lit in remembrance. This is a wonderful to honor grandparents, parents, and close relatives that have passed. You can even have the officiant say a prayer for your loved ones as the candles are being lit. Another option is to explain the significance of the candle lighting in your program.
Photos: Placing photos of those you want to honor in a visible place at the ceremony or reception is another way to show remembrance. You can place a flower or a candle by the photos, or even a beautiful poem.
Music: This is a tried and true way to remember a loved one at your ceremony. You can have a family member or a wedding singer sing a dedication song for your loved ones. Another option would be to have the DJ make an announcement and play a song in remembrance of the ones you want to honor.
Symbols: Anything that reminds you of a loved one is fine: butterfly bouquet picks, for example. Or a picture-frame pin and photo pinned to a bouquet wrap ribbon, or a monogram pin in the letter of someone you’ve lost. A number of stores sell “In Loving Memory” brooches you can pin to a sash or ribbon.
Bells in Trees:This is one of my favorite options if you are having an outside wedding. You hang bells in the trees from ribbons. Then every time the bells ring it symbolizes the presence of your loved ones and how they are always with you.
Charitable Donations:The “donation in lieu of favors” is a time-tested way to honor someone you’ve lost to a physical illness. Individual cards or a framed table note will let guests know who was on your mind. Some brides set out real or enamel ribbons symbolizing the type of loss involved: pink for breast cancer, teal for ovarian or testicular cancer, and so on. (See Awareness Ribbons Meaning & Colors.) Another option: the bride and her bridesmaids wear awareness bracelets. You can buy the awareness charms individually and make your own, or source the finished bracelet from a number of sites.
A Moment of Silence: Many couples take a second from their wedding ceremony to dedicate a moment of silence to their loved ones. The officiant can also say some words to member the ones you want to honor.
Seat of Honor: You can reserve seats for those you want to honor at you wedding. You can add flowers or decorations to the vacant seat. The officiant can also mention what the seat represents to the bride and groom. Another option is to have your florist add a loose flower to your bouquet for each person you want to honor and you can place them on the vacant seats before you go to the alter.
Food:This might seem a little more lighthearted, but you can honor family members by including a famous cookie or candy recipe with your desserts, a signature appetizer on the menu, or a favorite sweet in a candy buffet (did a father love Hersey Kisses?). Include a small framed note that explains the connection.
Clothing: A touching way to remember someone is to wear one of their personal items. Brides have worn their mother’s or grandmother’s veils, or sashes made from the wedding dress. Grooms have worn their father’s tuxes or cufflinks. And let’s not forget jewelry: brides have woven a rosary, locket or set of pearls into their bouquet, and worn a father’s ring around their neck or on their thumb.
Programs:At the end of the wedding program, it is appropriate to add a memoriam line. For example, you might write “Today we honor those who could not be with us, especially the bride’s stepmother Alison Janet Brooks.”